Tuesday, November 20, 2012

December 2012 Sustainability Profile: Larry Pageler

Each month, our newsletter features a person or group on campus that is working toward a more sustainable world. This month's profile features Larry Pageler, Director of Transportation & Parking Services (TAPS) at UC Santa Cruz. Last month, we reported here on the new bike maintenance stations recently installed by TAPS across campus, which allow cyclists to fix their bikes for free 24-7.

Larry Pageler, Director of TAPS, at Cathedral Lake

We asked Larry what he thinks about sustainability and how it relates to his work at UCSC.

Name: Larry Pageler
Title: Director, Transportation & Parking Services
Education: B.S. in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz (Crown College), Class of 1982
Favorite food: Sushi

Favorite Green Tips: Turn off unnecessary lights, especially around your home. And shut off "phantom" power supplies whenever possible with a power strip switch. While my professional focus is on sustainable transportation, saving electricity is such an easy thing to do it's at the top of my list.

What does "sustainability" mean to you? Sometimes it means "doing more with less;" at other times, it simply means "doing with less." But perhaps the most important thing is raising my kids (twin 14-year-old boys, Jed and Aren) to understand and appreciate how we impact and interrelate with the world around us. Long after I'm gone, they'll be dealing with the world my generation has left them—and I think they'll make much better choices than many of us, thanks in part to what they've learned from their mom and dad.

How does sustainability relate to your role at UCSC? I oversee most of the transportation and parking services at UCSC, which has a 40-year history of supporting alternative transportation modes like SCMTD transit, Campus Transit services, the Bike Shuttle, and many other programs. What we used to do to reduce parking and traffic impacts, we now do to reduce the campus' carbon footprint.

How do you practice sustainability in your daily life? In many ways, big and small. We installed an 8kW solar photovoltaic system on our house in May 2007 and now produce more than 85% of our total electrical demand. We reduced our mobile GHG emissions by buying a Prius, and our propane use by installing an instant-on water heater at home. Shopping at the Farmers Market each Saturday morning has become a tradition. And buying local organic food whenever possible is good for the planet, the community, and my family.

Have you had a favorite sustainability moment at UCSC? Some years ago, while attending a New Student Orientation program one summer, a young woman approached the TAPS table and proudly announced that "my parents were ready to give me a car when I graduated from high school. But I told them to put that money toward my education and get me an awesome mountain bike instead. With the buses and Zipcar and my bike, I expect to get around Santa Cruz just fine!"

To learn more about Transportation at UC Santa Cruz, please visit the Transporation & Parking Services website here.

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